Turner BMW F80 M3 Project Car

** Updated 11/12/2015 **

The words BMW and M3 are synonymous with each other. Since the first generation E30 M3 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show nearly three decades ago, BMWs most iconic and revered model has cemented a legendary reputation around the world as a sports car by which all others are judged.

At Turner Motorsport, we have built our own reputation as one of North America's premier suppliers of BMW OEM and performance parts, particularly with each generation of BMW M3. Throughout our 20+ years in the industry we have constantly pushed the envelope the technology and performance for BMWs, using knowledge gained on the road and on the race track. In order to continue to be at the forefront of offering the latest in performance for your BMW, it was only natural that we get our hands on the latest and greatest from BMW. After months of waiting for our F80 M3 to make its way across the ocean from Germany, it has finally arrived.

The F80 M3 is a drastic departure from all previous generations of BMW M3s. In order to maintain adequate power and performance figures with increasingly efficient engines, BMW changed their engine philosophy throughout their entire vehicle range. With the introduction of the current generation of M5 and M6, BMW gave birth to a new era of turbocharged, direct-injected engines in their top-tier M cars for the first time in the company's history, something that has continued to the powerplant in the F80 M3.

Gone is the extremely high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter S65 V8 from the E9x generation of M3, and in its place is is the S55, a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged and direct-injected unit producing 425 horsepower between 5500-7300 rpm, and 406 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,850 rpm. While we love the high-revving nature of a naturally-aspirated BMW inline-six or V8, BMWs Twin-Power Technology delivers a product with great top-end horsepower, but produces a much greater amount of torque at low RPMs, making for a more friendly power band in normal, everyday driving.

First Impressions:

Our Project F80 M3, finished in eye-catching Sakhir Orange Metallic paint certainly has plenty of presence in stock form. The lines make the M3 looks very aggressive, both while at a stand-still and while on the road. The flared fenders and wide front fascia add a perception of great width to the vehicle too. For the interior we chose the cloth/leather combination. The cloth material has a carbon fiber-like texture and appearance to it, and together with the carbon fiber trim it completes the interior into a state-of-the-art cockpit.

Although we have had limited drive time behind the wheel of BMWs latest M3. Here are our driving impressions so far.

What a machine! On the road the M3 feels focused and involved, just a sports car the caliber of a BMW M3 should feel. The steering is very direct and linear, especially when in Sport+ mode. We passed on the optional BMW Carbon Ceramic brakes, and instead opted for the regular cross-drilled brake rotors for our M3. We're glad to say the stock brakes slow down our M3 very well and don't seem to fade nearly as quickly as on the our F10 M5 or F13 M6. Keep the weight down in the new M3 has a big role in the lack of fade.

The new S55 engine is extremely potent, and when combined with Sport+ mode and the optional BMW Double Clutch Transmission (DCT) with Drive Logic, makes for very exciting 0-60 runs. With hard accelerations the 3.0-liter, Twin-Power Turbo unit makes some sounds that are reminiscent of the iconic 3.2-liter S54 engine from the E46 M3. From inside the car, the exhaust note at moderate and full throttle sounds great. We only experienced a couple unfamiliar noises when moving at slow speed at low rpms.

The new F80 M3 is a great piece of modern engineering and lives up to the "M3" badge that adorns the rear trunk. The styling, engine, brakes, transmission all perform very well in stock form. However, we are always looking to improve upon a very good product, to make it something truly memorable. Stay tuned for updates and upgrades on our Turner Project F80 M3.

The Project:

At Turner we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of performance and technology for BMWs, especially the BMW M3. We want to have a complete understanding of these new cars to continue our reputation as a leading BMW tuner. Please stay tuned for more to come on the new F80 M3. Our goal is to take this fifth generation M3 and make it unique. We are going to hand pick the best possible products and accessories for this project car to learn first-hand the true potential of this latest generation of forced induction BMW power plants. Please stay tuned as we begin to modify this M3 and review the products we use.

Project F80 2.0:

Check out our Project BMW F80 M3 Silverstone to see the latest build from Turner Motorsport.

The Gallery:

Black Front Grills for F80 M3

If there's one things that transforms the exterior and overall appearance of a BMW more than any other, it's the addition of black front kidney grills. The front kidneys are literally the "face" of your BMW. Whether it's standing still in your driveway, parked a car show, or cruising down the highway; distinctive
Gloss BMW Black Kidneys are the first thing owners and drivers see when they look at your car. The stock factory chrome grills look OK, but these gloss black examples truly set your car apart from the rest of the pack. Overall fitment and quality is top notch, just like factory BMW parts. Bring your M3 to the next level!

Installation of these black front grills is straight forward. It took us approximately 15 minutes to remove the stock chrome units and installed the black ones. Depending on one's experience installing grills, we would expect the average installation time to be between 20-30 minutes.

Grill Installation Photos: Before & After

Turner Interlocking Technology Spacers for F80 M3, F82 M4

The Turner Interlocking Technology Spacers are engineered precisely for BMWs, with multiple features that other brands don't have. They feature an exclusive design that combines a flat wheel spacer AND a BMW hub extender IN ONE product! They have a bridged support structure that fits in the voids of the unique M3/M4 hub. This gives a mesh interlocking fitment for the spacer and a new lip for the wheel to rest on. They are available in 5, 7.5, and 10mm sizes.

The shortcoming of any flat spacer is that not enough hub is left over for the wheel to safely rest on. BMW engineers their wheels to rest on the lip protruding from the hub. The bolts alone are not designed to support the wheel. Placing a flat spacer on the lip reduces the amount of lip available and transfers more stress to the wheel bolts. Since the bolts alone were not designed this way, the bolts and the hub will fail eventually. So our R&D dept. came up with an ingenious combined Spacer and Hub Extender that incorporates a new hub with a flat spacer (a true hubcentric 10mm spacer).

Turner Interlocking Technology Spacers

Our Project F80 M3, like all current generation M3's and M4's, comes from the factory with a somewhat aggressive stance. However, manufacturers usually create vehicles with conservative wheel and tire combinations, leaving enthusiasts looking for a more aggressive and pronounced stance. The F8x M3 and M4 are no exception. At Turner Motorsport, we are always looking to see how we can improve a vehicle, both performance wise and aesthetically. We quickly found our Turner 12.5mm wheel spacers on all four corners work extremely well with the factory 19" BMW wheels, delivering the perfect combination of added stance, while maintaining the vehicle's everyday drive-ability and characteristics.

The addition of the spacers fills out the fenders, without protruding beyond them. We have seen others with F8x M3s or M4s place larger 15mm spacers on the front and rear of the car. However, we feel a 12.5mm spacer will work well. The slightly smaller 12.5mm are also recommended if you plan on adding performance springs or other suspensions modifications that lower the vehicle, as a 15mm will cause the car's wheels to rub against the fenders.

Color Matched Front Side Reflectors for F80 M3

Along with the addition of gloss black front kidney grills, we also ditched those unsightly orange front bumper reflectors. The difference between the stock orange and our Color Matched Painted Front Reflectors is dramatic, and together with the black kidney grills brings together the entire front fascia of the M3.

Installation is straightforward. In order to reach the back of the stock reflectors you need to remove four screws that hold the plastic cover on inside the wheel well. After the screws are removed you can pull back that portion of the cover and gain access to the reflector. To remove the reflector you will need to carefully loosen the adhesive tape that holds it in place, as pushing too hard from the outside without loosening the tape can result in permanent damage to the bumper. Once the backing tape and stock reflector has been removed the color-matched piece simply pops into place. Professional 3M adhesive is included to make sure your new reflectors stay in place.

Painted Reflector Installation Photos: Before & After

F80 M3 Dyno Day:

Every time we receive a new project, we want to see what the true capabilities of the vehicle are, as the manufacturer stated figures for peak horsepower and torque are always open for interpretation. In addition, manufacturer estimates for horsepower and torque are always assumed to be calculated from the flywheel, not the rear wheel. This can throw off an owner's understanding of what exactly is being delivered (in terms of horsepower and torque) to the pavement.

In order to get first-hand power and torque figures are at the wheel we put our Project F80 M3 on a dynometer. During the three pulls on the dyno our stock M3 delivered strong numbers, putting down 401 hp and 416 lb-ft of torque, beating out BMWs claims when calculating in a 17% drive loss between the flywheel and the rear wheels.

Turner Performance Tuning Module for F80 M3, F82 M4:

At Turner Motorsport we're always looking to improve upon an already great product. That's why we are always pushing the limit with the development of our own products for your BMW. Our new Turner Performance Tuning Module for the F80 M3 and F82 M4 is no exception.

The Turner Performance Module is a direct plug-in to the existing engine harness for factory appearance, fitment and an instant 60hp gain @ 6650 RPM and 75ft-lbs of torque at 6500 RPM. These are simply amazing gains! Installation takes approximately one hour and is completely reversible, making this the easiest and most effective power upgrade you will ever make on your M3 or M4. If you're looking for a substantial bump in power output, with minimal downtime for installation, full serviceability, and can be reverted back to stock then the Turner power upgrade is unbeatable!

Turner Performance Module for F80 M3/F82 M4

Turner's M3/M4 upgrade solution plugs in ahead of the engine computer on the wiring harness. It's not the run-of-the-mill 'piggy-back' style upgrades you find for less. Unlike other modules that require extended downtime to install, our performance module is extremely easy and straightforward to install.

All that is required is the removal of the engine cover, connection of the three factory-style, weather-proof plugs to connect in-line with each boost pressure sensor, camshaft position sensor and manifold pressure sensor on the engine. It's that easy! After connection with the plugs, we arranged the wires so they were neatly organized and hidden, and stored the module under the right hood cowl. All of the factory safeguards remain in place, including overload protection and warm-up protocols to preserve longevity and factory drive-ability. If BMW updates the computer software to fix any small bugs or issues, the Turner performance upgrade is not lost or overwritten. A valet connector is included and installs in minutes to bypass the performance module and revert the car to factory settings. We would expect total installation time to range between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on skill and ability level. There are simply no downsides to this product!

We recently took our F80 M3, equipped with the Turner Performance Tuning Module to the drag strip to see how it stacked up in the quarter mile. The results were very impressive. In 100% stock configuration the F80 M3, equipped with the 7-speed DCT transmission will complete the quarter mile in approximately 12.1 seconds. With an additional 60 horsepower and 75 lb-ft of torque on-tap our M3 ripped down the strip in a blistering 11.7 seconds! That's an improvement of four-tenths, all from a product that takes minutes to install. At the time we did not use launch control to get off the line, as our vehicle has not reached the 1,200-mile minimum requirement.

Turner Edition P3Cars Integrated Vent Gauge for F80 M3

Just as the exterior design, the interior of our F80 M3 is beautifully designed and engineered to be a comfortable and functional space for the driver, as well as accompanying passengers. With that being said, with each passing year car manufacturers incorporate more technology and driver's aids into their vehicle offerings, limiting the amount of information the driver receives, especially when it comes to vital vehicle data. Up until now you could gain additional data through ill-fitting auxiliary gauges. However, those aren't designed specifically for your make and model, sacrificing the overall appear of your interior. Those days are over!

The Turner Edition Integrated Vent Gauge by P3 Cars is the answer. P3 Cars has developed a product that not only monitors and displays critical engine and performance information, such as engine intake temperature, coolant temperature, boost/vacuum, exhaust gas temperature, speed and RPM, but does so with a beautifully engineered unit that is extremely easy to install and use. and looks like a factory-issued option from BMW because it has been designed specifically for your model of BMW! Did we mention it reads and clears engine fault codes too! Our F80 M3 unit features special 0-60, 0-100 MPH and 60-0, 100-0 displays, unique to the Turner Edition vent gauge.

The F80 M3 P3 gauge is available in two different configurations. The first is a pre-installed unit that comes ready-to-go in a OEM vent, while the second is not pre-installed, requiring you add the unit to your stock vent cluster. We highly recommend the pre-installed unit and think it is worth the additional cost. With the unit already installed you simply have to pop out the stock air vent. remove the dash board side and foot well, plug the unit into the OBD port and connect the remaining wire into the rear of the digital display. Once everything has been connected you place all of your panels back into place and turn on the car. It's that simple! Installation with the pre-installed is approximately 10 minutes, while the uninstalled unit took us 30-40 minutes.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters for F80 M3, F82 M4

These BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters can be added to the F80 M3 and F82 M4 front bumper for a much more aggressive appearance. Unlike the majority of aftermarket pieces that only have a thin coating of carbon on the exterior, these pieces are made of 100% real carbon fiber and are genuine BMW parts.

Installation of these front splitters is very quick and easy. All that is required is removal of the 8mm screw and washer that holds the under panels on. Once removed the carbon fiber splitters easily mount over the existing outer cooling ducts, and is used to direct air either into the air duct or the air curtains. The optional lower M Performance horizontal splitter makes the front end even more aggressive. Together, the two M Performance Splitters have a dynamic and pronounced visual impact to the M3 / M4 bumper.

M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters

BMW M Performance Lower Front Splitter for F80 M3, F82 M4

In addition to the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters, we have decided to add the corresponding BMW M Performance Lower Front Splitter to the face of our Project F80 M3. These two parts are designed to work in conjunction with one another, and together really bring together the appearance of our M3. While the two side splitters are comprised of carbon fiber, the lower splitter is finish in high-quality ABS plastic in a matte finish.

Installation of the lower front splitter took us about one hour and was somewhat involved. If you already have the carbon fiber splitters installed you will need to remove them to gain access to the under trays, which also have to be removed. The lower splitter is held in place with a number of plastic rivets and small screws. Making small holes in both the bottom of the carbon fiber splitters and the bottom of the front bumper is required for the pieces to be properly secured. The end result are pieces that are not only great looking, but are attached to the car well too.

M Performance Lower Front Splitter

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers for F80 M3, F82 M4

To complete the carbon fiber look on the face of our Project F80 M3 we installed the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers. These carbon fiber mirror covers replace the factory color matched pieces on the front portion of the mirror. The mirror covers look great on their own. However, when combined with the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitter and the Lower Front Splitter they really give our F80 M3 a more exotic appearance.

M Performance Carbon Fiber Mirror Covers

Painted Engine Cover for F80 M3, F82 M4

The engine is the heart of any automobile, and is the part of the vehicle most people are naturally drawn too. The powerful S55 powerplant in our F80 M3 is no expection. With its dual intakes, intercoolers and heat exchangers, together with the uniquely-shaped carbon fiber engine/strut brace, there are plenty of interesting aspects to look at.

However, as with most modern vehicles, the M3/M4 engine bay is laden with an overabundance of black plastic, the largest and most prominent of which is the large black engine cover. We thought this area could use a blast of color to make our Project M3 stand out from the rest of the pack. These Painted Engine Covers make a world of difference when it comes to the engine bay of your M3/M4. Each painted engine cover is prepped for paint, painted with the same color code as your M3/M4, and then clear-coated to a high gloss finish. When installed your engine bay will deliver just as much punch as the S55 delivers to the pavement.

Painted Engine Cover

Forgeline GA1R Forged Monoblock Wheels for F80 M3, F82 M4

If one exterior modification transforms the appearance of a vehicle, it's the addition of a different set of wheels. Our F80 M3 is no exception. For this project we chose the Forgeline GA1R Monoblock Wheels for our newest project car. Complete with stunning "Transparent Smoke" finish, these wheels improve the aggressive appearance of the exterior. The wheel finish compliments the BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber pieces adorning the front and rear of the M3.

Despite the awesome presence both while at stand-still and traveling down the road, these fully-forged wheel provide our M3 with more than just a different look. We chose to wrap our 20" Forgeline GA1R's in high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, measuring 265/30/20 in the front and 295/30/20 in the rear. Driving characteristics have noticeably improved with the introduction of the Forgeline wheels. Steering input and connection to the road feels tighter and more precise. We put the KW Clubsport Coilover Suspension to push the limits of what was possible for a street car to achieve when pushed on the race track.

When driven on the street, the H&R 30mm Front Sway Bar delivers excellent lowered stance and appearance for the F80 M3, along with offering great overall handling and ride quality, making the M3 the ultimate street machine, without going for a more advanced coilover setup.

*Disclaimer* Our F80 M3 is not equipped with EDC suspension. If you plan on adding a coilover suspension to your EDC-equipped F8x M3 or M4 you will need to have a module capable of disabling your EDC warning light.

Forgeline GA1R Forged Monoblock Wheels

H&R Front Sway Bar for F80 M3, F82 M4

We've added numerous sway bars to our Turner Project Cars throughout the years. We've even developed our own sway bars for the BMW E36 and E46 chassis'. Because of the improved handling and cornering control that result from the addition of a sway bar, we had to try one out on our newest project car, our F